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I had every candle lantern lit in the
whole store. Instead of a sign saying “OPEN” I had one out that
said “WELCOME!” In spite of that, there were no customers. Very
few are out and about on Hearthwarming.
The door’s spring bells jangled. Along
with a few snowflakes and a cold draft, a mare with two foals came
in. I shut the door behind them and flipped the sign to closed.
I told them, “Go on into the back,
that is where I live. It is warmer there.” As they trooped into
the back, I put out all of the candle lanterns and finished closing
the SWEET SPOT.
The mare and her foals were stopped at
the door to my quarters. She turned to me and said softly, “I am
sorry. We did not mean to interrupt your Hearthwarming.”
I had to grin. “This little gray
unicorn lives alone. You are my Hearthwarming. Go on in. I have
snacks laid out and the clover roast is almost ready to come out of
“Warm yourselves by the fireplace and
have a hot spiced cider to warm the inner pony.”
That, at least, required no further
urging. The pale magenta mare admired the painting above the mantle
piece. It was a copy of Van Gone’s famous Sunflowers by Moonlight.